If it hadn’t been for the Coronavirus epidemic and the lock-down, the Coventry Society would have been visiting the new Broad Street Hall this evening (11th May 2020). In the absence of a visit we thought that you might like a virtual visit.
The project is the dream and brainchild of CovSoc member Alan Griffiths, BEM, who would have been our guide on the visit. The building replaces an old tin hut that was built by the Salvation Army.
The first thing to note about the new building is the stunning colour scheme. The building is predominantly orange and dark grey but with a colourful frontage to Broad Street. This has been created to represent the Foleshill neighbourhood with all its different local nationalities. The rails are powder coated aluminium. At an early stage of the design of the building they were dismissed due to the high cost then someone came up with the idea of using drain pipes! The drain pipes are off the shelf standard material of the same quality but with a big cost saving. They certainly bring colour to the area and create a very noticeable building.
The building comprises two halls, a larger main hall on the ground floor with storage rooms also a Children’s Play / Store room. The first floor hall room has a stunning open feeling with an apex roof with skylights. It also has, for increased space, an outbreak room that can be used when needed.
There are two kitchens and two coffee kitchen areas so a cuppa will always be available on arrival. There are three office rooms, a study room and a dining room / meeting room area. There is car parking for seven cars and ten push bikes.
The building has been designed with limited windows openings. This is because it was necessary to design a building that would not transmit noise outside the structure. As a result the building is air controlled and it has been possible to achieve a very high thermal efficiency. The thermal properties of the building are stunning with thick walls internal insulation, then externally insulated and finished off with a dark grey powder coated metal cladding.
The building is said to have the poshest toilets in Foleshill. Alan Griffiths says, “We thought it important that we had nice easy clean WC areas which was quite a lot extra. Also we thought it important for our users that we had separate WC’s and not Uni-sex ones.”
The inside finish of the building has been built to a quality hotel standard. Internally in the main halls this is all beech wood cladding again adding to the insulation along with a stunning quality look. Doors and windows are all strong commercial aluminium range, doubled glazed with safety glass and tinted to match the cladding.
As the building is on two levels it was necessary to include a lift. This has also been an expensive item but the law requires it. Alan added “I would have been happy with a fireman’s pole” but that was voted down!
The building was designed by a Dutch Architect named Joelle Bolt of BPN Architects. Fundraising, design and construction has taken over five years. Funding has come from many different sources, but the largest element was provided by the Big Lottery. The building was constructed by local company, Harrabin Construction.
Our overall impression is that the new building will be an amazing addition to the Foleshill neighbourhood and we can’t wait for an actual visit! Well done Alan!